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Japanese Relocation


Published 1943 ca.


Narr. by Milton S. Eisenhower, director of the War Relocation Authority. An historical record of the transfer of Japanese residents from the Pacific Coast to the American Interior as carried out the the U.S. Army and the War Relocation Authority. 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them American citizens. Special attention given to possibility of sabotage & espionage.
"Japanese themselves cheerfully handled the enormous paperwork involved." Alludes to the auctioning of personal property by government agencies and businessmen, saying that it "often involved financial sacrifice for the evacuees." Narration says that evacuees "cooperated wholeheartedly," noting that "the many loyal among them felt that this was a sacrifice that they could make in behalf of America's war effort."
Bus and private car caravans, shopkeepers' stores, homes, restaurants, fishing boats are shown. Temporary quarters were in "assembly centers," at race tracks , and fair grounds. San Anita (sp.?) race track , a community of 17,000.
Depicts camp life: cafeteria, church services, nursery schools, people engaged in war-related work (making camouflage nets for army). Building new quarters in the desert for the final movement to the relocation camps. Smiling Japanese people being carted off on trains. Medical facilities, Americanization classes, schools, internal government, barracks-style housing, irrigation projects in desert.
Some evacuees were "permitted" to become fieldhands in sugar beet fields under appropriate safeguards. Describes the goal of the relocation as achieved when "all adult hands" are engaged in "productive work on public land or in private employment." And when "the disloyal have left this country for good."
Relocation seen as a humane act "setting the standard for the rest of the world in the treatment of people who may have loyalties to an enemy nation, protecting ourselves without violating the principles of Christian decency."


Producer U.S. Office of War Information
Audio/Visual sound, color

Reviews

Reviewer: donwert - - January 11, 2014
Subject: Propaganda For Shame
This US government film attempts to justify the unjustifiable---the forced relocation of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast during WWII. It peddles the myth that there were actual security concerns although stating that "most" of the victims were loyal. No mention of why Italian-Americans or those of German descent were not similarly treated. Nor of why those of Japanese descent in Hawaii were not interned. The ugly fact is that West Coast Japanese-Americans were relocated because they could be and the forced disposition of their property could be acquired for a song by white Americans. The Japanese were so numerous in Hawaii there was no way they could have been moved without destroying the Hawaiian economy. So they were undisturbed even though they purported justification applied with much more plausibility to them then to their West Coast brethren. The assertion in this film that the victims "cheerfully" acquiesced in their victimization is simply a lie. As is the notion that this whole sorry episode somehow showed that the government acted with "Christian decency". It's enough to make your skin crawl.
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